I had the pleasure of visiting yet another Wegmans store just last week, and boy, do I love that place! For those of you who don't yet know of my obsession with the grocery store, let me fill you in.
Wegmans is a grocery store chain located in the North East (their headquarters is in NY state). They have an amazing prepared foods sections, rockin' bakery, and their cheese and produce is really unbeatable. I have visited stores in State College, PA (that one was a bus trip; I kid you not); Wilkes Barre, PA; Dulles, VA; and most recently in Hunt Valley, MD. What makes the Dulles store stand out of course is their amazing wine selection (I LOVE shopping in Virginia), but each store is consistent not only with great food (and the prices are pretty reasonable), but great customer service as well.
One of my favorite things to do is attack the cheese counter full force. Now any good cheese monger will allow you a taste of any cheese that you are interested in purchasing. The pleasure here is that I did this with 9 cheeses. Don't think I was trying to get a free lunch here, I purchased each cheese, but it was so cool to be able to taste each and speak with someone knowledgeable about the products. Here's where Wegmans stands out; after tasting each cheese, the cheese monger re-packaged and then re-priced each hunk. I didn't pay a thing for my samples. It's a little thing, but in these days of nickel & diming, it was a nice touch I appreciated.
When I was in the Hunt Valley store last week, my mom, daughter and I had a fantastic lunch in their upper balcony area (really, upper balcony in a grocery store!). The only problem is that it usually costs me a fortune because we see so many things we want to try. We probably all had the equivalent of 2 lunches each because of the fresh fruit, fresh sushi (it's good too!), Chinese food bar, salads, and the bakery. Wow! As we were taking the elevator up, there was an older gentleman nice enough to hold the doors for us. After a quick conversation that lasted beyond our elevator trip, I found out that he and his wife come to Wegmans every Sunday. She shops and he brings a portable tv, gets a snack, and watches football. Every Sunday since the second week that store opened 2 years ago. He was happy as a clam and almost evangelical about the whole thing.
So Why do I bring all of this up? Well, rumor has it (as does the Wegmans website http://www.wegmans.com/) that Frederick is getting a store of our very own. I heard a lot of buzz a year of so ago and have heard nothing since. As far as I know, they're planning to go into what is now some vacant land between Rt. 15 & Rt. 26. I've done a little research and found out that the store is being held up because there were water problems in the county and all commercial building was halted until they could get a handle on it. The good news is that the water issues are resolved and they're ready to go. There's only one problem: This store will be on a list with a bunch of other potential projects.
Here's what I propose: Let's get a letter writing campaign (or even email if that works best for you!) going and start sending letters to our aldermen asking that they give this project priority. If I understand correctly, the site needs to be annexed into the city and once that's done they can get rolling. It will take about 2 years until the store is finally open, and I'm getting tired of driving to Dulles.
If you've been to a Wegmans, write me a comment so that I can see what you think!